Belle Takes a Toll

At the beginning of the season, I wanted to give Albert Belle the benefit of the doubt, with a clean slate and a fresh start. Less than halfway through the season, I'm no longer willing to do that. If it was just his lack of offensive production, he could be forgiven, especially if he was hustling consistently.

His performance on Wednesday night was typical. Not only did he loaf down to first base in the late innings of a close game (he would have been safe had he hustled), he also had the audacity to mouth off to Ray Miller when relieved of his duties the next inning.

-- David Siltman

Montgomery Village

Cal as Coach

While Cal Ripken continues to show flashes of brilliance and return to his previous form, it is obvious that his long and illustrious career is coming to an end. There should be an appropriate end to his playing days. One role that appears to be a natural would be that of a player-coach. While it is always sad to see a great career coming to a close, a player-coach position for Ripken would make the conclusion more palatable to his many fans and, most important, should please Ripken. Instead of ending one career, he would be beginning a second.

-- Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Glory Days, Elsewhere

Once again, the Baltimore Orioles' organization has eclipsed itself, sending Rafael Palmeiro and Robby Alomar to glory with other teams. This is an ongoing pattern that dates back well into the 1980s. Do the names Harnisch, Martinez or Finley ring any bells? How about David Wells?

-- Matt Mintzell

Silver Spring

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